Time for euro to supplant dollar

  • 2003-03-27

The euro could become a counterweight to excessive political and economic dominance from the United States, Swedish Prime Minister Goeran Persson said last week.

"We have now the chance for the first time to create a true counterweight to the United States on a world level, with the European Union, which has the force and the strength for this," he said.

"One way to reinforce the EU is to develop a monetary union. There is a chance there for all who are very scared that the United States is becoming too dominant in both the economy and politics," said Persson, whose government is facing a referendum on adopting the European single currency on Sept. 14.

"I've heard a number of very important left-of-center people who are in favor of economic and monetary union after making that kind of reasoning," Persson added.

Opposition to the euro is on the rise in Sweden, but the government is hoping that Swedes will vote "yes" to adopt the euro from 2006.

A recent survey published by the Sifo Institute showed that 46 percent of those questioned in February were against the idea of adopting the euro, while 39 percent were in favor and 14 percent were undecided.

But Persson also commented that the success of the euro currently stands out in a world which he described as being dominated by crises.

"One thing that seems to work well is monetary union. It works so well that it seems it will pass through a period of economic downturn while keeping its institutions in place."

Persson had earlier commented that Britain and the United States cannot ask the international community to pay for reconstructing Iraq after a war they have launched.